In March the Cath Kidston spring/summer catazine popped through my door and with sheer glee I flicked through each page before starting right from the beginning again to savour every delightful item. Whilst flicking through, something about a craft event caught my eye. It was being held after hours in eight different shops nationwide and I could barely believe it when I saw that one of the shops was the one most local to me, in Winchester (which takes an hour to drive to, but most retail destinations do when you live in the country!)
My initial excitement was quashed when reality hit and knew I would be terrified of making a fool of myself and only really accomplished sewers would attend such an event. So I put it out of my mind and got on with some baking and gardening. A little while later Nathan phoned about something or other and I happened to mention the event to him and without a moments hesitation he said that I should definitely go, that I had nothing to be nervous about and that I shouldn't let such an opportunity pass me by. Bless my darling husband, he always knows exactly what to say and he is always so encouraging. A few moments later and with renewed excitement I rang the shop and reserved two places for my sister and I.
A month later Brooke and I arrived at the shop in Winchester where we were greeted by the lovely shop girls who had organised an evening tea party (with wine and soft drinks instead of tea!) with lots of sewing machines and chairs set out alongside tables for all of us to start working on the craft which was to make a tote bag. This is the same tote bag project that can be found in the book Sew! by Cath Kidston on page 123.
After some time to look around the shop and enjoy the nibbles and drinks we all sat down at the long tables and each of us were given a bag containing generous amounts of contrasting fabric, the pattern and instructions to make the bag. There were about thirty ladies at the event so were divided into two groups so that we each had enough space to work. Then the lovely shop manager Betty explained that due to the time constraints we would be divided into two groups (Brooke and I Opted for the second group) and we would each be able to cut the fabric for the main body of the bag and sew on the front pocket. She also made it very clear that if any of us want any guidance or assistance, we should not hesitate to ask as all the shop girls would be able to advise us. It was a relief to hear that the majority of people in the first group started to ask the shop girls for advice and tips, and slowly I was feeling a little better.
The time came for the first group to move onto the sewing machines. Which meant it was our turn to cut! Well who would have thought...it turns out that I can cut fabric successfully! Looking back at it now, I honestly couldn't believe how nervous I was about doing something so ridiculously simple. Being a complete and utter perfectionist, I am very hard on myself if I do not attain perfection in the first instance and I think of the what ifs; what if my fabric is wonky, what if I mess everything up? Well I didn't need to give in to my what ifs as I managed to cut in straight lines. A few of the shop girls saw me measuring and chalking so thoroughly that they congratulated me on my eye for detail. Slowly, but surely my nerves began to melt away and I began to feeling warm and fuzzy with happiness.
Then it was our turn to use the machines, whilst I felt scared of messing up my straight edges with wonky stitches, something clicked in my mind and I just thought why not, why not try and see what happens? What happened was I managed to sew a lovely straight line of stitches that secured the pocket onto the front of the bag. I managed to overcome my fear of not being good enough and I actually achieved something whilst having such great fun.
As Betty had explained, our time was limited so we just managed to cut the outer part of the bag and sew on the front pocket, so the rest was left for us to complete at home.
Before the event I decided that the tote bag would be an ideal gift for my Mother-In-Law's Birthday in May as she is a fellow Cath KidstonCath Kidston shop!
Thank you so much to Cath Kidston for organising this event, supplying the fabric and the tea party, it was truly wonderful and we both had a marvellous time. This fantastic event took me on a journey of self discovery which enabled me to rekindle a love for a hobby that I desperately missed. Not only did I leave the shop that evening with a little extra confidence and a base for a bag, I also learnt a valuable lesson about striving for perfection. I really needed to understand the method of practice makes perfect, and of not being instantly perfect. I am definitely my own harshest critic and assume that others are just as disparaging, however they seem to see something else, something worth encouraging and even congratulating. I am finally beginning to understand what my darling husband and sister have been telling me for years, that I can and will achieve whatever I want if I stop doubting my ability, apply myself and have fun without any obligation to perfection.
Happy Wednesday sweethearts